This article is part of our DraftKings College Football series.
It all comes down to this. The college football national championship game is here. The matchup may feel familiar. The Georgia Bulldogs are facing the Alabama Crimson Tide. We're used to Alabama being here. The Tide handled the Cincinnati Bearcats 27-6 in their semifinal matchup, while the Bulldogs made easy work of the Michigan Wolverines by a score of 34-11, and that score line flatters the Maize and Blue.
Of course, you likely remember the last time these two teams faced off. In the SEC title game, Alabama beat Georgia 41-24. It was the first loss of the season for the Bulldogs, and also the first time any cracks in their defense showed up. Bryce Young likely locked up the Heisman by going 26-for-44 for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Jameson Williams had a huge day with seven catches for 184 yards and two scores. However, John Metchie had six catches for 97 yards and a score, and he will not be available in this game due to a torn ACL.
The Bulldogs have an incredible defense, in spite of that game against the Tide. They rank first in points per game, third in rushing yards allowed per game, fifth in rushing yards allowed per attempt, a mere ninth in passing yards allowed per game, and fourth in passing yards allowed per attempt. If you are going to attack them, I guess you go through the air, but to what end?
Alabama wasn't much worse, though. The Crimson Tide rank 14th in points per game, second in rushing yards per game, second in rushing yards allowed per attempt, 50th in passing yards allowed per game, and 28th in passing yards allowed per attempt. Thus, the closest thing to a weakness in either of these defenses is Alabama's passing defense, but is Stetson Bennett up to the task?
In terms of injuries, as I mentioned Metchie is out, and Alabama running back Roydell Williams is doubtful with a knee injury. Two Georgia receivers, Ladd McConkey and George Pickens, are listed as probable for this game, and I fully expect them to both give it a go. Although, Pickens has really struggled to get up to speed after missing the first 12 games of the season. He has four catches for 55 yards through three games.
Here is how a single-game contest for DraftKings works. You get $50,000 to pick a roster of six players. One player is your captain, and they are worth 1.5 times the points, but also their salary is elevated as a result. This is a roster I would put together for this big rematch with a championship on the line.
Jameson Williams, Alabama ($15,300) vs. Georgia: Williams is the best receiver in college football. As I mentioned, he had 184 yards and two touchdowns in the SEC title game. On the season, Williams has 75 catches for 1,507 yards and 15 touchdowns. Without Metchie, a defense can focus on Williams more, but I don't think that matters. In the semifinals he had seven catches for 62 yards against a defense that ranked second in passing yards per game and passing yards per attempt.
Bryce Young, Alabama vs. Georgia ($10,600): I have to have the Heisman winner. In order to try and save some salary I didn't make him my captain, but what's not to like here? Young has completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 4,503 yards, 46 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He arguably had his worst game of the season in the semis and still threw for three touchdowns against one interception. Young is basically matchup proof.
Brock Bowers, Georgia vs. Alabama ($9,200): Bowers has been incredible as a true freshman. He may already be the top tight end in college football. Bowers has a four-game touchdown streak going, and he had 10 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown against the Tide when they matched up in December. I saw an infographic shared by ESPN's Bill Connelly that when Bowers was targeted when he was lined up on the left side of the field throws his way were 15-for-16 for 292 yards and four touchdowns. If he's out wide in this game, watch out for Bowers.
Zamir White, Georgia vs. Alabama ($5,400): The top three are the ones who really make this lineup. With all that salary spent, though, now it's time to look for some value. Alabama has a tough run defense, but White is still the Bulldogs' lead back. He rushed for 772 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Last year he had 11 scores in 10 games. White has a nose for the end zone, and at this salary a touchdown might be all it takes.
Ladd McConkey, Georgia vs. Alabama ($5,000): McConkey had one big game this year, reeling in five catches for 135 yards and a touchdown on the road against Auburn. That's not typical for him, but he did catch a touchdown in the SEC title game. McConkey is the third option in the Georgia passing game, and Stetson Bennett may need to air the ball out in this one.
Jack Podlesny, Georgia vs. Alabama ($4,400): I didn't expect to be going with a kicker, but it shook out that way salary wise. The first game between these teams involved a lot of points, but with these defenses point might be at a premium in the title matchup. Podlesny is a fairly reliable kicker. He went 20-for-25 on field goals and 68-for-69 on extra points. If Podlesny ends up making a couple field goals in this one, he'll pay off to round out your lineup.